Giant Eland

(Tragelaphus derbianus)




Facts about this animal

The Giant Eland is the largest antelope, with a head-body length of about 3.45 m and a shoulder high of up to 1.8 m (Note: the common eland is of about the same size). The weight may be up to one tonne. The coat is reddish-brown in colour (darker in males than females), with several white stripes on the torso. Both sexes have spiralled horns, which are relatively straight. They can grow to 120 cm in length. Females are smaller and lighter than males with shorter horns.

Giant eland are gregarious and mainly nocturnal, resting during the day often in sheltered areas.

Did you know?
that the giant eland is not larger than the common eland? Despite the name "giant", only this species' much larger, diverging horns make it a giant over the common eland.


Name (Scientific) Tragelaphus derbianus
Name (English) Giant Eland
Name (French) Eland de Derby
Name (German) Riesen-Elenantilope
Name (Spanish) Eland gigante
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Greyson Orlando



Range Taurotragus derbianus gigas: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo Dem., Sudan. Probably regionally extinct in Chad, Nigeria and Uganda Taurotragus d. derbianus: Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, extinct or probably extinct in the remainder of its former range: Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Togo
Habitat Savannas and glades
Wild population 15.000-20.000 (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population As of December 31st, 2007, the current captive population is 53 Eastern Giant Eland (Taurotragus derbianus gigas) in 11 institutions.

In the Zoo

Giant Eland


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 73 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Eugenia & Julian

Why do zoos keep this animal

This is an impressive antelope, which is an excellent ambassador species for the threatened fauna of the northern savanna belt of Africa.

Only the western subspecies is kept by zoos, for which an international studbook has been established under the umbrella of WAZA. The zoos in North America implement a coordinated breeding programme with a view of maintaining a viable ex situ population.